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Opinions on operator's home directory?

(Please retain the Cc: to 198943@bugs.debian.org in replies.)

Bug #198943 against base-passwd comments that the operator user's home
directory is /var, which seems to have little rationale and sometimes
makes paths look odd in certain shells. I don't use the operator user
for anything myself, so I'd welcome opinions on what this could sensibly
be changed to.

For reference, /usr/share/doc/base-passwd/users-and-groups.txt.gz says:


    Operator is historically (and practically) the only "user" account
    that can login remotely, and doesn't depend on NIS/NFS.

    In BSD, the operator user can read and write to tapes and read from
    disks, so that operators can perform backups. For some reason Linux
    seems to have lost this.

I looked around the BSDs, and found that FreeBSD uses / (reasonable;
unwriteable by operator but then so is /var), NetBSD uses
/usr/guest/operator (ugh), and OpenBSD uses /operator (perhaps
reasonable but I'm not keen on a new top-level directory for a user many
people never use). /home/operator isn't possible because /home may be
NFS-mounted. /var/lib/operator, or similar? A bit ugly, and would
require a base-files change.

At the moment, I'm inclined simply to use /. I can arrange for existing
installations not to be changed, which would also mean that people can
safely change operator's home directory locally.

Does anyone have any other opinions?


Colin Watson                                  [cjwatson@flatline.org.uk]

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